STOCKTON Those with a yearning for deep-fried asparagus will have to wait until spring 2021 for the festival named after the vegetable.

This year’s San Joaquin Asparagus Festival, scheduled for April 17-19 at the San Joaquin County Fairgrounds, has been officially canceled and will return next year. It is among the most recent series of events canceled or postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Cinco de Mayo celebration in Stockton (May 5), Library & Literacy Foundation for San Joaquin County Trivia Bee Fundraiser at Stockton Arena (April 25) and World of Outlaw auto race (April 17-18) at the Stockton Dirt Track have also been called off or postponed for the foreseeable future.

Local business owner Tony Noceti runs the Asparagus Festival through his company, Noceti Group, Inc. He said there were some discussions about trying to reschedule in May, but ultimately the decision was made to wait until next year.

“Obviously disappointing, but the right thing to do,” Noceti said. “I think Governor (Newsom) has the right idea, we have to do what we can to stop the illness.

“And even if the situation stabilized in the next several weeks and it was allowed, we don’t think it would be wise to hold an event where 60,000 people gather in one place.”

The San Joaquin Asparagus Festival began in 2015, and in its five years has raised approximatelsy $500,000 for charities. Noceti said there were also logistic reasons to cancel the festival.

Many of the vendors plan their schedules at the beginning of the year, and are committed to other events through the late spring and summer. And asparagus is generally grown through April or May locally, so supply could be scarce.

Several other events canceled

The Trivia Bee was founded in 1992 by board members of the Library & Literary Foundation in an effort to raise funds to benefit the Stockton-San Joaquin Library Literacy Project. Last year 31 teams competed and $3,400 was raised, according to Jack Jacobs, who was chairman of the event.

The annual Cinco de Mayo Family Fiesta and Parade draws thousands of people along the streets of downtown Stockton. The celebration is one of the largest of its kind in California, according to organizers.

The World of Outlaws, also promoted by the Noceti Group, was to run in conjunction with the Asparagus Festival, but was postponed by the open-wheel-racing organization along with the rest of its California schedule.

The event has drawn more than 10,000 on a single night to Stockton Dirt Track, which is located on the San Joaquin County Fairgrounds. Tony Noceti said he has spoken to Outlaws officials and there is a chance for a race to be rescheduled in September, but that has not been confirmed.

Contact reporter Scott Linesburgh at (209) 546-8282 or slinesburgh@recordnet.com. Follow him on Twitter@ScottLinesburgh.